Justices will evaluation property rights case

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Justices add seven new cases to docket, including major voting-rights dispute

Amy Howe Independent contractor and reporter

Posted on Friday, November 13th, 2020 at 3:10 pm

Posted on Friday November 13th, 2020 at 3:10 PM by Amy Howe

The Supreme Court added a new case to its Protocol of Merit for the 2020-21 term on Friday. At Cedar Point Nursery v Hassid, judges will weigh up a California ordinance granting union organizers access to farm growers’ property for up to three hours a day, 120 days a year. The lawsuit was filed by a California strawberry kindergarten after union organizers relied on the rule to enter the kindergarten’s property with bullhorns to recruit staff. The kindergarten argued that the ordinance was an unconstitutional “takeover” of its private property under the fifth amendment. A federal district court dismissed this argument and the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the decision.

The kindergarten asked the judges to review the decision of the 9th district, informing them that the federal appeals courts are divided on the question of whether “a continuous but temporary relief” like the one created by the ordinance is the kind of permanent one physical invasion is on property for which its owner must be compensated. And it told the court that the issue is important in a state like California, which “leads the nation in agricultural production and is the sole producer of numerous crops such as almonds, pistachios and walnuts”. In addition, the kindergarten said the 9th circuit decision could also impact other areas of property rights, such as the ongoing dispute between the government and private landowners over access to beaches.

The state countered that the decision of the 9th circuit did not conflict with the decisions of other appellate courts, stressing that its regulation “is rarely invoked and only allows limited access, taking into account numerous protective measures and restrictions”. The kindergarten also failed to show that the ordinance resulted in “actual economic damage or disruption”.

In a brief ruling on Friday afternoon, the court agreed to include the kindergarten’s appeal. The judges are likely to go to the oral hearing sometime early next year, with a decision to follow suit by the summer.

This post was originally published on Howe on the Court.

Posted in Cedar Point Nursery vs Hassid, Featured, Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended citation:
Amy Howe, Justices will look into the property rights case,
SCOTUSblog (November 13, 2020, 3:10 p.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/11/justices-will-review-property-rights-case/